What to see in Kuala LumpurOctober 21, 2011
Kuala Lumpur (KL) is the modern, multi-cultural, dynamic capital of Malaysia. It’s a good place to begin a backpacking journey around South East Asia due to the safe feel of the city with its excellent transport systems (bus, taxi or the easy to use light transit rail system and monorail). Accommodation is typically of a reasonable standard, although not cheap compared to neighbouring Thailand or even other Malay towns.
KL is a perfect city for easing yourself gently into South East Asian culture. Its population of Chinese, Indian and Malay peoples mean the markets stock a huge variety of food, clothing and household objects. Streets contain Mosques, Hindu Shrines, Buddhist Temples and Christian Churches giving the city a rich diversity. Here is some of the best that ever-developing Kuala Lumpur has to offer:
- Go forage through those many markets. Drink fresh fruit shakes, buy delicate silk headscarves, marvel at the batik handicraft and smell the fresh fish! One of the best ways to soak up the culture and atmosphere of a new city is simply to wander through its streets. See what the locals do and follow their lead!
- In the Colonial District walk through the well-kept Merdeka Square. It was here that Malaysia declared its independence (or ‘merdeka’ meaning ‘freedom’) in 1957. It’s obvious to see that the square was originally an English cricket pitch. Towering above is a video screen and you can catch a film here if you’re around on a Saturday night.
- Gaze upwards at towering twin Petronas Towers (named after the Malaysian petroleum company). Although this is no longer the tallest skyscraper in the world it is worth seeing this impressive feat of engineering. The towers are situated in KL’s business, entertainment and retail district which is known as the Golden Triangle. It’s possible to look down upon the crowds below from the Skybridge which connects the Petronas Towers up on 41st floor. We recommend this only for those with a head for heights!
- Take a break from the heat, smog and consumerism of the city with some time out in the Lake Gardens. These are situated by the Muzium Negara (National Museum) for all those history boffins among you. The lake itself is framed by beautiful gardens which were originally created in the 1890s and have been continually developed and maintained since then. There’s a bird park and a flower garden including plenty of shelters from those sudden monsoon downpours.
- After all that you’ll need some chilling out time. Relax with a rich coffee or tea in one of the many traditional Chinese coffee and tea shops lining Chinatown. Chat with some locals and watch the people bustle by in the multi-layered metropolis that is KL.
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